Mario’s kid is in even more trouble now that a second accuser has come forward. He’s in such deep shit that he issued his third apology yesterday — and this is a guy who never apologizes for anything. New York’s formidable Attorney General, Tish James, told him to pound sand when he submitted the name of a sympathetic judge to run an investigation, and Cuomo quickly backed down. I sincerely doubt he’ll resign, but for the first time I wonder if he’ll stand for re-election.
This raises the question of how Democrats should respond to the charges against Cuomo. Fuck him, is one legitimate way of looking at it, and I don’t want to downplay it because, well, fuck him. That said, the Whatabout Party (QOP) is going to use Cuomo to try to excuse their rapist-in-chief and their shit response to the pandemic, so maybe we should care.
Paul Campos’ piece in LGM this morning is pretty good at pointing out the hypocrisy of using minor charges of harassment that probably wasn’t harassment to bring down Democrats, but I’m a bit tougher than him on the harassment score. As a guy just a few years younger than Cuomo who’s had leadership positions in the recent past, there’s no fucking way you’d catch me saying anything like the things he said to those women, whether or not it met the technical definition of harassment. The reasons go beyond the obvious ones (you’ll make the women uncomfortable and you’ll get in trouble with HR) — it’s more of a having an understanding of your place in the world and, frankly, a little bit of pride. Twenty-something women, on the whole, have basically zero sexual or romantic interest in late 50s/early 60s men. If you delude yourself to think that flirting and other little comments are going to get you anywhere, you lack the insight and understanding that should be part of a leadership position. Plus, you look the fool.
Cuomo’s treatment of these women are of a piece of his being out of touch with where the world has moved. His stupid intransigence and delay of the legalization of marijuana (which this scandal may, yet again, delay) is just one example. Watching his reaction to the NYPD’s treatment of BLM protesters, it was surprising to me that he maintained a faux naivete about what police have become in this society. He seemed to really believe that most cops are good guys, and he believed that because they were (at least in the white parts of Queens) when he was growing up. The world has passed Cuomo by, and he just doesn’t get it.
That said, I really disagree with this part of Campos’ post:
I think Cuomo should resign because he botched New York’s response to the pandemic and unnecessarily killed a lot of people in the process […]
Cuomo’s response to the pandemic was far from perfect, but we do ourselves a giant disservice to put it in the same category as Ron DeSantis or Kristi Noem. Yeah, he hammed it up in his press conferences and his book, but he also put together a world-class testing program, pushed unpopular but effective restrictions that kept our hospitals from filling up, and did a decent job with vaccine preparation. None of the Republican “own the libs” shitposting all-stars did any of those things.
When we’re all vaccinated and the economy comes roaring back, the Republicans are going to do everything they can to downplay the Democrats’ leadership in fighting the pandemic. Letting that happen would be politically stupid. Better to have Cuomo resign because he was a creep than to have him quit because of some mistakes with the pandemic.
The party line should be that Cuomo was far better than any Republican governor on the pandemic, but Democrats don’t tolerate office holders who treat women poorly, so he has to go.